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Inside Washington (01/07/2008)
* WASHINGTON (1/8/08)—-The National Park Service tapped Credit Union House state flower artist Margaret Huddy to paint one of the 2007 White House Christmas tree ornaments, reports the Mount Vernon Gazette (Dec. 20-26). Huddy’s assignment was to paint the White House and its grounds--which are part of the U.S. National Park System—-on the surface of an 18 inch diameter sphere. The theme of the 2007 White House Christmas Tree was “Our National Parks and Monuments.” Read more on the Mount Vernon Gazette website... * WASHINGTON (1/8/08)--The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Thursday that it is considering new restrictions on refund anticipation loans (RALS), but the agency does not intend to ban the loans, according to David Williams, IRS director of electronic tax administration (American Banker Jan. 7). Rather, the agency wants to ensure that tax preparers aren’t encouraged to provide false information, he said. Williams also stated that the agency has uncovered “anecdotal evidence” indicating that some loan providers encourage consumers to inflate their returns, but has not confirmed it. The proposed restrictions could impact Pacific Capital, which receives half of its business from funding RALS, according to a research note by Brent Christ, an analyst with Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller (USA) LLC. John Hewitt, chief executive of Liberty Tax Service and Jackson Hewitt co-founder, said the IRS cannot prevent banks from offering RALS ...


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